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Asian oil stakeholders agree on regional order

Steps to be taken to network the knowledge-base of countries



COOPERATION IN HYDROCARBONS: The Union Petroleum Minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, with the Russian Minister for Industry and Energy, V. Krishtenko, at the ministerial round table on cooperation in the Asian hydrocarbons economy in New Delhi on Friday. — Photo: R. V. Moorthy

NEW DELHI: North and Central Asian oil producers and principal Asian consumers on Friday decided to forge a partnership towards developing an Asian oil and gas order and creating inter-dependencies.

The first round table of Oil Ministers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan with principal Asian oil and gas consuming countries — Japan, South Korea, China, Turkey and India — here decided to pursue regional cooperation in the Asian oil and gas economy.

Oil price volatility

"The participants noted with concern the recent volatility in the international oil and gas prices and agreed that stable and reasonable prices would be in the interest of producers and consumers alike,'' Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said at the conclusion of the day-long event. Asia in the 21st century is emerging as the largest single supplier of oil and gas, as well as the fastest growing consumption centre in the world.

Largest single supplier

"The need was recognised to study the possibility and feasibility of promoting and developing gas and oil interconnections through LNG and through trans-national oil and gas pipelines within the Asian region for integrating energy markets, as well as improving the transportation infrastructure,'' he said.

South Korea offered to make available crude and product storages, he said, adding that India suggested a study for forming an Asian oil and gas grid.

Mr. Aiyar said the Japanese proposal to study the possibility of networking the countries of Central, South and East Asia and elsewhere with the Japanese initiative to promote a Sustainable and Flexible energy System (SAFE) was endorsed.

It was agreed that practical steps be taken bilaterally and regionally, as well as globally, for networking the knowledge-base of participating countries in the development of the Asian oil and gas sector and the energy economy in general. — PTI

ONGC not keen

to sell stakes

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Friday said it had no intention of offloading its stakes either in Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) or in GAIL India Ltd and was willing to buy back its stakes in the company.

"We have no intention of offloading our holdings of IOC or GAIL stocks and we have also offered that if IOC or GAIL wants to divest their holdings of ONGC shares, we are willing and ready to buy back,'' ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Subir Raha said.

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